Health and Human Services Director Roger Severino intends to revise how far civil rights protections extend, Vice reported on Tuesday.
The Trump Administration’s proposal would overturn the Obama-era rule that forbade health care providers from discriminating against patients “on the basis of their gender identity or whether they have terminated a pregnancy.”
Under Severino's leadership, the Office for Civil Rights has emphasized and strengthened protections for health care providers, rather than focusing on patients. The office projected that the rule would save close to $3.6 billion over five years.
Katie Keith, co-founder of Out2Enroll which helps members of the LGBTQ community obtain health insurance, found that the federal budget to be retained would come from “lower labor costs and lower litigation costs because [health care providers] will no longer have to process grievances or defend against lawsuits brought by transgender people.”
Defenders of the proposed bill argue that providers should be able to object to performing certain procedures if they come into conflict with their religious or moral principles.
Opponents to the proposal fear that it will reinforce bad morals in health care providers. Jocelyn Samuels, who oversaw the implementation of the Obama-era rule, said that “the administration should be in the business of expanding access to health care and health coverage.”